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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas gifts’

Not Just Another… Pair of Socks

Socks have become kind of a low-key way to inject a splash of colour and personality into business dress. They’re easy to cover up and easy to unveil. Take a seat at a boardroom table, and with a flick of your leg you can unveil a polka-dot print amidst your otherwise standard formal attire. Socks, as mundane as they once seemed, are now something of a statement.

Where there’s a statement to be made there is power. So ask yourself, what do your socks say about you? That’s the ethos behind companies like Swanky Socks, (https://www.swankysocks.com/about-swanky-socks/) who have sought to bring a variety of striking designs to your tootsies. They’ve done so rather successfully, with their brand now featured in over 250 retail stores. The key to their success might be the sliding range of their products, from the loud and colourful to the more subdued and sedate. With each design though, they still retain a consistently eye-catching style, so you can choose the volume of your statement.

There’s an untapped potential in branding socks. Many see it as just one part of a great whole. Nike socks are just there to compliment a set of Nike training trousers and a crew neck. Socks though have the unique ability to infiltrate any and all settings. Sports socks, business socks, lounge socks, it doesn’t matter. There’s always socks.

By producing branded socks you can make introduce your image to a vast array of settings and markets. What’s more, people often forget they’re wearing them. Wearing an emblazoned t-shirt or decorated jacket is something that you’re always aware of. If say you intend to produce some as promotional materials to give away, you’ll potentially see a much higher adoption rate than with a big and bold company t-shirt.

Socks aren’t always in the forefront of the mind but they’re always present. They wear out quickly but they’re quick and easy to produce, and always in demand. Everybody needs socks, and they need them often. Make your brand part of that need.

Your Brand & Christmas – Let’s Create Some Magic!

There is a lot of talk about seasonal and event specific marketing tie ins. With Christmas now rapidly approaching, it’s time to hone in on what is undeniably the biggest seasonal market of the year. Looking at how to latch onto this opportunity and make it work for your brands.

Unlike some other seasonal events and holidays (birthdays, easter, halloween), Christmas is unique in that pretty much any and all brands can play at utilising the period in their advertising. Part of that comes from the ubiquity of the holiday, and its ties to gift giving and money spending. From NRMA to Australia Post, brands and services of all shapes and sizes find ways to tap into the festive cheer.

The key at Christmas then, is standing out from the crowd. With so much of Christmas focusing on buying and gift giving, so many advertisements focus on deals and cost cutting. Pounding consumers with images of big yellow labels and low prices and sales. It’s nauseating and only really works for large scale retailers and companies dealing in a wide variety of products. The types of companies that will see a large footfall regardless and are really only trying to syphon consumers away from very similar, competing stores.

When working with a more concise brand, you’ve got to get creative. Being unique is always important in advertising, and particularly around Christmas being memorable can be more important than actually advertising the product in any meaningful way. Looking at NRMA and Australia Post advertisements, the ties between the service on offer and Christmas itself are loose. The main focus is on tying specific festive imagery and aesthetics and playing on the associated emotions, to the brand itself. These advertisements come across more like a Christmas card from the company, rather than a sales pitch. Christmas is about closeness, familiarity and comfort. The most successful brands tap into these emotions by being approachable and marketing with humility. As mentioned in the article a few weeks back, Coke perfected this. Despite having a product that has almost nothing to do with Christmas, their advertising absolutely nailed the sensibilities and cultural hallmarks of the holiday.

Another effective theme of Christmas advertising is one of summary. Christmas marks the end of the year, a holiday that gives you time to look back on the last 12 months. It’s why so many brands focus on a timeless aesthetic, or one that calls back to the most distinctive events of the year, as well as tapping into the current cultural and social climate. At the end of the year people take stock of what’s happened to them, of what’s important and where they’re going. People are more aware than ever to the current state of things and if you can make that work for your brand, you’ll be reaching people on a whole other level.

Recently, Australian advertisers have moved further towards embracing what makes Christmas so different down under. Embracing the distinctly Australian. The humour, the geography, the cultural. The inherent silliness in celebrating a very winter-centric European holiday at the height of summer. So much of Christmas’ cultural short hand is wrapped up in our European roots. It’s time to change that.

Christmas is the time of giving, sharing and coming together. Branding is effective when it strays away from the obviously cynical and commercial, and looks at what makes Christmas…well…Christmas. Find what it means to your audience, to you and your brand and make a holy trinity of the three.

A Marketing Ploy with Good Intentions: Birthdays, Father’s Day, Christmas Day, Valentines Day. Do you buy in?

It seems like every other day is something-day. On the 10th of August, we had Duran Duran Appreciation Day and World Lion Day, Photography Day on the 19th, Be An Angel Day on the 22nd and Dog Day on the 26th.

Increasingly smaller holidays and events are being used to sell an array of products. An appropriate approach is vital. Done right, a holiday or celebration can be the perfect way to boost sales and create a strong brand association, but done poorly and the effort can appear transparent and tacky.

The most straightforward and most suitable instance of tying into any given x-day is when the product is inextricably tied to the day in question. National Donut Day, the 1st of June, is something of a no-brainer for Krispy Kreme, who mark the day by offering a free donut to every customer. It gets feet through the door and nets a tidy little profit to boot.

Greetings card companies stock their shelves with every kind of Birthday card imaginable, and deck their halls with the pinks of St. Valentine or the greens and reds of the festive season. There’s an undeniable and well-ingrained link in these industries and products. People may complain every year that they’re being inundated with Christmas-this and Halloween-that, but they buy it all the same. You’ll see dad rock albums climb the charts in the run up to fathers day and florists will beam when mothers day rolls around. It depends on the holiday, but when the link is clear and established marketing to a day or holiday can make sense.

In the bigger markets, Christmas in particular, where so many products and services are vying for consumer attention, the question actually becomes less of a ‘should we’ and more of a ‘how do we’. A common marketing ploy is to play on cultural associations. Coca-Cola’s Christmas campaigns have been wildly successful because they so effectively capture classic images of Christmas. Families around open fires, the mad dash for last minute presents … all of it wrapped up in a cosy, wholesome family image. They’ve even helped to define the modern day image of old St. Nick (though contrary to popular belief they weren’t responsible for turning his suit red http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7152054.stm). Coca-Cola though, especially in the cold December climates of the US and Europe, hasn’t got a whole lot of relevance to Christmas.

Whilst Coke have managed it, products being advertised and associated with events that they share no link with can also be a big misstep. Cynical and irrelevant marketing will only cause annoyance. Sticking with a festive theme, the UK-based supermarket Sainsbury’s tied into the hundredth anniversary of the First World War in their 2014 advertising campaign, to a fair amount of scorn from the press and public. Trying to sell groceries with images of one of humanity’s most horrific conflicts is a tenuous link at best and downright offensive at worst.

Here in Australia many will be familiar with Meat and Livestock Australia’s controversial lamb advertising campaign, which utilises controversy around Australia Day to drum up interest. These sorts of controversial campaigns can be very hit and miss, and those that do succeed often do so by means of leaning into more out there and incongruous forms of advertising. Dick Smith Food’s own (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7y6iE0aB5s) Australia day advertising plays off of absurd notions of patriotism and the inherent irrelevance of the product to the day itself for comedic effect. However it does also feature some pretty obnoxious casual racism. If you’re planning to use a holiday to sell something that has very little business being associated with it, recognising this inconsistency and playing off it is the best way to go. Tenuous association and causing offense in a needless and tasteless fashion is not.

Tying your marketing to a specific day, season or holiday can be a great way to drum up interest. If your product or service has a very clear link it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed. Did you know the 1st of June was Donut Day? You probably didn’t until every cafe had a sign in the window informing you of it. Drawing attention to these fun little events is an easy and relatively risk-free form of marketing. When dealing with the bigger hitters, Christmas, Easter and the like, it comes down to the suitability of the product and its ability to stand out from the crowd.

Promotional Products: why it matters WHERE your logo appears!

turnkey Promotions passport-holderLogo size and placement matters!

Your logo says a lot about your business. This post isn’t about creating your logo, as there’s plenty already published about design and colours on the web. Instead, let’s focus on where your logo appears on promotional products as the placement can make the difference between a remembered brand and one that’s forgotten quickly.

Understand your clients

Bigger is not always better, and the size of your logo on promotional products depends on the type of product you’ve chosen and the intended recipient. A corporate gift intended for executive level clients would only require a small or subtle logo so that it’s used more often and doesn’t detract from an individual’s personal style. Corporate gifts such as glassware, and office use gifts benefit from smaller, well-placed logos that catch the eye, but don’t detract from its use. Understanding your clients will make this decision much easier. Promotional products for outdoor use can obviously have a bigger logo so that they’re seen easily. Pop-up shade tents, tote bags, umbrellas and water bottles all benefit from larger logos.

Subtle and discreet

Discreet logos also add a touch of class and surprise to users when they’re found. A discreet logo on promotional products can also ensure your product is used more often, depending on the style of the user.  Discreet or hidden logos work best on regularly used products as they reveal a brand when a product is in use. A logo on the inside or bottom of a coffee mug that can only be seen by the coffee drinker is one such example. Because of the extra thought you’ve put into where your logo appears, brand recall can be higher. Also consider placing logos internally, where only the user sees them – products that are regularly opened such as travel wallets and compendiums benefit from discreet branding.

160812105236-olympics-under-armour-nike-usa-gymnastics-780x439Earlier this year, logos on active wear worn by Olympic teams in Rio competed for attention. A perfect example of good logo placement is the uniform worn by members of the US Gymnastics team. The Under Armour logo was expertly placed to capture viewer’s attention when medalists raised their arms in triumph. Even if your logo won’t be appearing on an Olympian (yet) choosing the best place for a logo on promotional gear can make a huge difference.

Of course, it’s a good idea to have your logo ready to go in a variety of different file formats to expedite the product design and ordering process (and we can also help you with this). We’ve shared some tips on which graphics work best . Your logo featured on promotional products is another touchpoint with staff and clients that extends from your office, website and social media accounts.

Enjoy,

Diana

Diana O’Cobhthaigh, is the owner of Turnkey Promotions, boutique agency specialising in promotional merchandise and product development. Turnkey Promotions provides a helpful and consultative experience that is tailored towards our clients’ Branding, Values and Vision. Diana and Turnkey Promotions are focused on a partnership that delivers precision in planning, quality products and timely delivery.

Why Christmas gift-giving makes good business sense

Christmas corporate gifts - Turnkey PromotionsWith Christmas just under two months away, NOW is the time to finalise your corporate gifts. The last months of the year fly by, so if you haven’t thought about Christmas gifts yet, don’t put it off any longer. Production times vary by product, so order sooner rather than later to ensure you have plenty of time to distribute them to staff, clients and customers. Ensuring your order is in soon safeguards against the silly season becoming manic.

Gifts to clients at Christmas time fulfills more than a feel-good festive function. Although that feeling of giving a gift that is equally well-received is great, there a few other reasons why giving a great branded corporate gift is more than good vibes!

Saying Thanks

The first and most obvious reason for gift giving is to say thanks to clients who are using your products and/or services and keeping your business humming along. It doesn’t take much to say “I appreciate your business” on top of what you regularly deliver.

Build strong relationships and retain business

Every business wants to nurture client relationships and have them continue to choose you as their partner. Gifts at Christmas help solidify these relationships and give greater meaning to just another transaction.  If a business is completing 6 month budget reviews and are cutting costs and assessing service providers, now is the time to ensure that you make a great impression even if you’re in front of them every day. A well-thought gift is one that will make you stand out and come to mind regularly in the eyes of your client.

Stay top of mind in a slow season

Most businesses shut down for at least a week over Christmas and New Year. While your contact might disappear for a summer holiday for most of January, a meaningful gift given before that holiday will have your business top of mind in what is usually a frantic time of year. If a client or key contact is not returning to the organisation, that personalised, thoughtful gift will be a reminder of you at the person’s new company who may just need your services.

Diana’s Top Gift Tips

You’re the best at what you do, so give best-in-class gifts.

Send gifts that are visible, are used, and are a conversation starter that keeps you top of mind with the recipient.

Give gifts that serve a purpose, or solves a problem.

Chinese New Year: January 28, 2017.

Australia and China do so much trade and business with each other it’s important to keep an eye on Chinese New Year. As well as planning Christmas gifts, it is important to look at any upcoming events occurring in the early part of the year as factories often shut down for up to 4 weeks over this time with increases in demand occurring. So before China shuts down, get your large quantity custom indent orders for offshore production in by early November, so you can celebrate instead of stress!

Best wishes,

Diana

Diana O’Cobhthaigh, is the owner of Turnkey Promotions, boutique agency specialising in promotional merchandise and product development. Turnkey Promotions provides a helpful and consultative experience that is tailored towards our clients’ Branding, Values and Vision. Diana and Turnkey Promotions are focused on a partnership that delivers precision in planning, quality products and timely delivery.

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